Attackers in “full battle gear” shot down a provincial leader and five civilians in the Philippines
The governor of Negros Oriental province in the southern Philippines has been shot dead by men armed with assault rifles and wearing military camouflage and body armor. The attack, the latest in a series of shootings against regional politicians, also killed five civilians.
At least six heavily armed gunmen were carrying “pixelated uniforms” opened fire on Governor Roel Degamo in front of his home in the city of Pamplona on Saturday morning, fatally killing him and the five other victims, police said. The civilians involved in the shooting were said to be impoverished local villagers who had gathered in front of Degamo’s house seeking help.
The suspects fled in three SUVs, which they later abandoned. Hours later, three men were arrested by Negros Oriental police, who identified two of the suspects as former army soldiers.
Earlier this morning, a group of “heavily armed” mercenaries broke into the home of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo while he was meeting with his constituents. One of the gunmen moved on and once he spotted Degamo, he shot the guard in front of him… https://t.co/O9LgB19w0Fpic.twitter.com/kAEcqf0FVM
— GianSanity (@giansanityfps) March 4, 2023
“My government will not rest until we bring to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly and heinous crime.” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said in a statement.
The country has a history of political violence, as well as Islamist and communist insurgencies. In the past month alone, Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. was wounded in a brutal attack that left five of his bodyguards dead, while Maguindanao del Sur Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal was wounded when two gunmen fired at his vehicle. . In the northern Philippines, the vice mayor of the city of Aparri, Rommel Alameda, and his companions were gunned down last month by men allegedly wearing police uniforms.
The slain governor, who first took office in 2011, was forced to resign in elections last year but was reinstated after an October recount. Just two weeks ago, the Supreme Court backed election officials’ decision to reverse the results and award Degamo the votes cast for a spoiler candidate with an identical last name.
Degamo’s wife, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, said in a Facebook post that her husband was serving voters on Saturday, and “did not deserve such a death.”
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